Mid-engined Quattro (Gr.B)
With the increased competition from purpose built opponents under Group B, Audi found themselves in a composed dilemma.
From an engineering perspective, mid-engined configuration seemed the way to optimize weight distribution and balancing the Quattro rally platform. On the other hand, the policy behind Audi’s rallying campaign since the early Group 4 Quattro, was to keep the motorsport vehicles in close(r) relation to the production car.
There is seemingly no proper technical information around on the mid-engined Quattro. What is evident from the few b/w photos found online, is a car that holds adaptions alike a Sport Quattro (also why I put it under this category) with the shortened, more nimble chassis layout. Reading the article ‘For your eyes only‘ it seems a prototype or test vehicle was fitted with an engine alike that of the Sport Quattro S1.
Doing my general Quattro investigations, I came across an early 1985 article which is intereting with the Audi policy in mind, referring a press conference in Badrutts Palace Hotel in St. Moritz:
Audi will stick to their policy of rallying what are basically production cars as long as possible.DR. ferdinand piëch, feb 1985
However, if Audi find that their cars were not competitive they are prepare to build a new rally car. “If needed we will have a sharper weapon,“
Reading discussion online, there are however some confusion into this, which seems to relate to the planned-but-not-initiated Group S ‘Quattro 002‘. Even if closely related to principles of the mid-engined Quattro (running a Quattro chassis as basis), the 002 ran on a tubular frame. Although with shared components, I struggle seeing the two as the same type of car.